Signs Your Team Is in Peril:
1. Your CEO is apologizing to the fans.
2. Your ostensible superstar is hurt and sorta complainy. (Even if he's right.)
3. Your big veteran presence is cursing in the locker room after yet another loss.
Yeah, we'd say the Nets are there.
The Nets, sans Deron Williams, lost 103–88 to the Milwaukee Bucks last night, and it's probably time to be concerned. They're now 3-10 in the month of December and are back at .500, 14-14, for the first time since they were 2-2. They're only a half-game ahead of Philadelphia for the last playoff spot. This is the low point.
After the game — which was never close and never exciting and never much in doubt — Gerald Wallace decided he was the next person who had had enough. "It seems like guys are content with the situation that we are in, and I'm fucking pissed off about us losing, especially losing the way we are losing," he said. When someone curses, man, you know they're serious.
Much of this seems likely to fall on the shoulders of coach Avery Johnson; that Christmas Day debacle at home is the literal opposite of what the Nets had in mind for their big close-up. Williams is after him and his system, and you can't fire the guys you're paying $330 million to. (Well, you can, but it's not smart or financially efficient. We bet it would feel good in the moment, though.) The Nets have two winnable games at home coming up, against Charlotte and Cleveland. If they don't win both, Johnson could be in serious trouble right there. Pretty amazing for a guy who was the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November. Though that's sort of a stupid award anyway.
The Nets' record after 28 games is actually their best since 2008. But everyone's decided to just pretend they were never in New Jersey, and that they were an instant championship contender. This is the reaction when everyone does that.